Keeping cool the order of the evening for Pops at the Post
By Kathy Chaffin
Members of the Salisbury Symphony didn’t wear their usual attire for the Pops at the Post concert Saturday night.
With temperatures sweltering and the humidity high, it was just too hot to wear dress pants and shirts. And having the men wear ties would have been downright unmerciful.
“As you can see, they let us wear regular clothes,” said Rebecca Marland of Greensboro, who plays bass in the symphony. Rebecca opted for a sleeveless T-shirt, cotton skirt and flip flops.
With temperatures well into the 90s during the day, Marland said they moved the rehearsal from the Salisbury Post loading dock performance site to Salisbury High School. “That made things a little easier,” she said.
A slight breeze 30 minutes before the 8 p.m. concert had Marland optimistic that the evening would be tolerable. “It’s getting a little cooler,” she said.
Fellow bass player Virginia Masius, also from Greensboro, said she had played in hotter weather. It was a Fourth of July concert at Tanglewood Park in Forsyth County, she said, “and it felt like a thousand degrees outside.”
Masius wore shorts, a T-shirt, socks and tennis shoes to Saturday night’s concert.
The Salisbury Post kept the loading dock doors open so symphony members could go inside and cool off in the air conditioning if they got too hot. Bottles of water were also available for anyone who needed them.
Renee McCachren, chairman of the music department at Catawba College and principal keyboardist for the Salisbury Symphony, didn’t play for “What a Wonderful World,” so she stepped inside the Post to escape the heat.
McCachren, playing at her third annual “Pops at the Post,” said the concert “brings lot of people together in a community event that makes us all feel like we are part of something that we can enjoy together.”
“I love music, and I love playing with the Salisbury Symphony,” she said. “I enjoy all the concerts.”
McCachren said the Pops at the Post concert features lighter music that appeals to a wider audience.
Christie Potvin and her son, Nathan, who will turn 2 on Monday, were sitting on the sidewalk at 7:30 p.m. waiting for the concert to begin. They were having fun, she said, despite the heat.
Potvin’s husband, Lt. Jack Potvin, flies the Blackhawk helicopter parked in the middle of Church Street. “Nathan likes to watch the helicopter come in,” she said.
Most of the white folding chairs set up on Church Street were filled early in the evening, while people in camp chairs and vehicles set up for tailgating covered much of the parking lots for the Post, First Bank and The Wrenn House.
Harry and Alice Waddell of Salisbury sat in camp chairs on the back of their white GMC truck waiting for the concert to begin. They attended their first Pops at the Post concert last year, Harry said, “and it was wonderful.”
They enjoyed it so much, he said, that they gave up going to the American Legion baseball game Saturday night to attend again.
Alice said she thinks it’s wonderful that the Salisbury Post sponsors the concert.
There’s a good crowd out, Harry said, adding that they had already seen a lot of people they know, including former neighbors and old friends.
Many used the white Pops at the Post paper fans to keep cool, while others lined up at the Cheerwine trailer offering free drinks in the First Bank parking lot.
Salisbury Post ad sales representative Audrey Eudy, who was among a handful of volunteers alternating filling cups with Cheerwine and Diet Cheerwine, said they were sure to surpass the 16,000 to 17,000 free cups given out last year.
Eleven-year-old Maddie Gentry of Salisbury and her friends, 9-year-old Audrey Hudson, 8-year-old Eliza Walser, 11-year-old Cassidy Brisson, 11-year-old Katie Grant and 10-year-old Lindsay Veros, all of them also from Salisbury, were among those waiting in line for drinks.
Maddie said her family has tailgated at the concert all four years that it has been held. “I love listening to the music,” she said.
Among the food offerings on the tailgate were barbecue, sub sandwiches, Chex party mix and people chow, which Maddie said was Chex mix with melted chocolate and peanut butter poured on top.
Over in the Salisbury Post parking lot, a group sang Happy Birthday to Steve Bord, who then proceeded to cut his birthday cake.
When asked his age, he said, “They say 50 is the new 30, so I’m 28.”
His wife bought the cake.
“It’s awful nice for them to play at my birthday party,” Steve said of the symphony.
Sitting in a camp seat behind his vehicle parked along the Fisher Street side of the parking lot, Greg Hippert was surrounded by an empty chair that belonged to his wife, Kari, a small red rocker belonging to their 16-month-old daughter, Piper, and a small yellow chair belonging to their 3-year-old son, Quentin.
Kari and Quentin had gone to take Piper to her grandparents’ house on Ellis Street.
“He missed the flyover,” Greg said of Quentin when two Blackhawks flew over.
Saturday night was the second Pops at the Post concert for the Hippert family. “It’s a wonderful event to give the kids exposure to some good music,” he said.
In preparing for the heat, Greg said they brought a rug to cover the hot concrete and to give the children a place to play. He and his wife also brought a spray bottle so they could keep the children cool with water.
They bought their dinner from the Chick-fil-A tent, one of several vendors selling food in the parking lots.
The Hipperts moved to Salisbury from Charlotte 18 months ago. “We love it,” Greg said, “wouldn’t go back.”
Back at the Cheerwine trailer, Cassidy Brisson and Audrey Hudson were there for their fourth refills.
“It’s been really good,” Cassidy said of the concert. “I’d like to get their notes because I’m going to be playing the flute next year at Knox.”
As for their tailgating, Cassidy said she had eaten some barbecue, grapes and strawberries.
Audrey said she had a piece of chocolate birthday cake, probably Steve Bord’s cake.
The concert began with a version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and featured such performances as “Summon the Heroes,” a tribute to Justin Monroe and Victor Isler, the two Salisbury firefighters killed in the March 7 fire at Salisbury Millwork; an Armed Forces Salute; a “Music Makers” Medley; Duke Ellington Fantasy, Beach Boys Medley and The “Salisbury Post” March.
The first Pops at the Post concert was held in 2005 to celebrate the Post’s 100th anniversary. It was such a hit that organizers have been holding one annually ever since.
In addition to the Salisbury Post, presenting sponsors of Saturday night’s Pops at the Post were Jim and Gerry Hurley and F&M Bank.
Contact Kathy Chaffin at 704-797-4249 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Were you SPOTTED at Pops? Click here to see hundreds of smiling faces from the 4th Annual Pops at the Post.